30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

End of the Cold War, 1989-1991

May 31, 2008 | Briefing Book
Left: President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev on Red Square in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral, May 31, 1988, with interpreter Pavel Palazhchenko to the right.  Just out of the picture is U.S. Navy lieutenant commander Woody Lee, carrying the “football” briefcase with U.S. nuclear war plan options and launch codes for missiles targeting Red Square.  [Photo courtesy of Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California]
May 23, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 23, 2008 - Today, the National Security Archive publishes its third installment of the diary of one of the main supporters of Mikhail Gorbachev and strongest proponents of glasnost during the perestroika period in the Soviet Union — Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev. This section of the diary, covering two key years of history, is being published in English here for the first time.
Dec 10, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 10, 2007 - Previously secret Soviet Politburo records and declassified American transcripts of the Washington summit 20 years ago between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev show that Gorbachev was willing to go much further than the Americans expected or were able to reciprocate on arms cuts and resolving regional conflicts, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
May 25, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 25, 2007 - Today the National Security Archive publishes the second installment of the diary of one of the key behind-the-scenes figures of the Gorbachev era--Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev. This document is being published in English here for the first time. It is hard to overestimate the uniqueness and importance of this diary for our understanding of the end of the Cold War--and specifically for the peaceful withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Oct 13, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. and Reykjavik, Iceland - President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev almost achieved a deal 20 years ago at the 1986 Reykjavik summit to abolish nuclear weapons, but the agreement would have required "an exceptional level of trust" that neither side had yet developed, according to previously secret U.S. and Soviet documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive of George Washington University and presented on October 12 in Reykjavik directly to Gorbachev and the president of Iceland.
May 25, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 25, 2006 - Today the National Security Archive is publishing the first installment of the diary of one of the key behind-the-scenes figures of the Gorbachev era - Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev. This document is being published in English here for the first time. It is hard to overestimate the uniqueness and importance of this diary for our understanding of the end of the Cold War - and specifically for the peaceful withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Nov 22, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. November 22, 2005 - Twenty years ago this week the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union concluded their Geneva Summit, which became the first step on the road to transforming the entire system of international relations.
Oct 26, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. October 26, 2005 - Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev, who died in Moscow last week at the age of 81, was probably the best known "architect of perestroika." Soviet ambassador to Canada, then member of the Politburo and Mikhail Gorbachev's closest adviser, he could rightfully be called the "Father of Glasnost." Alexander Yakovlev rose through the Communist Party ranks to become one of the most vocal critics of the Stalinist past and a passionate advocate of democratization in the second half of the 1980s.
Nov 17, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 17, 2004 - Fifteen years ago today, a modest, officially sanctioned student demonstration in Prague spontaneously grew into a major outburst of popular revulsion toward the ruling Communist regime. At that point the largest protest in 20 years, the demonstrations helped to spark the Velvet Revolution that brought down communism in Czechoslovakia and put dissident playwright Vбclav Havel in the Presidential Palace.
Apr 5, 2001 | News
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Twelve years ago today in Warsaw members of Poland’s communist government, officials of the Catholic Church, and representatives of the Solidarity trade union signed the Round Table Agreements, a landmark power-sharing agreement that set the stage for Poland’s first free elections since World War II. To mark the anniversary, the National Security Archive is publishing on the web a new electronic briefing book, “Solidarity’s Coming Victory: Big or Too Big?,” featuring recently declassified Department of State documents detailing the U.S.

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